An artist’s illustration of the PSVs. Image: BAE Systems

Jackson Offshore Operators has awarded BAE Systems’ shipyard in Jacksonville, Florida a contract to build two new U.S.-flagged platform supply vessels that will serve offshore drilling operations.

Each of the Jackson Offshore Operators vessels will be qualified under the U.S. Jones Act and will measure 252 feet long and 60 feet wide. The contract, which was announced at last week’s International Work Boat Show in New Orleans, Louisiana, also includes options to build two additional PSVs in the future.

The GPA 675J PSV design will be provided by Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. of Seattle, Washington. The vessels will include an integrated Rolls-Royce ship systems package inclusive of low-voltage active front end diesel electric system and a complete Rolls-Royce propulsion package with Azipull propulsion thrusters.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with the construction of two GPA 675J PSVs,” said Lee Jackson, president and chief executive officer of Jackson Offshore Operators, LLC. “We are confident that BAE Systems can deliver the vessel on time and on budget.”

“This contract is a good fit for BAE Systems in Jacksonville as the facility has a proven track record and has been successful in the construction of vessels to support the offshore market,” said Richard McCreary, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards.

“Our commitment to new construction in the commercial market is unwavering as we continue to strengthen BAE Systems’ position as a highly competitive and financially stable builder of technically sophisticated ships,” McCreary said. “As our backlog grows, we will continue to build our workforce in Jacksonville.”

The Jackson Offshore contract is latest example of BAE Systems efforts to increase the backlog of new construction work at its facilities in Jacksonville and Mobile, Alabama. The company is currently constructing two dump scows and a trailing suction hopper dredge in Mobile with scheduled deliveries in 2013 and 2014 respectively. In August, the Mobile facility was awarded a contract to build two PSVs, with start of construction for the first vessel to begin in January.

BAE Systems currently employs 630 people in Jacksonville and expects to hire an additional 250 workers there by mid-2013.

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